TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) — The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office has a warning for residents across the state: someone may have your personal information and may be filing for unemployment benefits.

Officials say this latest identity theft scam is sweeping the country. “This is unacceptable,” said DA Sharen Wilson. “At a time when people need help, they are having their identities stolen and fake unemployment claims filed.”

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The advice from the office — stay alert, document any problem and report identity theft to local police.

Scammers may be getting personal information from data breaches in recent years.

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Many people learn they are victims when they receive paperwork about a claim they didn’t file, or when their employer notifies them about a claim.

The Texas Workforce Commission has boosted efforts to thwart fake benefit claims, but between March 2020 and April 2021 the agency has received more than 4.4 million unemployment applications. Of those, 611,000 claims were suspicious, and most were blocked before benefits were paid.

Here are some steps to take if your identity has been stolen —

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“You have to be proactive,” said Assistant DA Lloyd Whelchel. “You can’t sit back and wait. Document everything and notify officials that you’ve been a victim. You need to clearly establish that this was not you.”

CBSDFW.com Staff